95 Whitehorse Road
+61 3 9816 8911
Having been in Melbourne for close to 9 years and going home only once a year, I try my best to find time to take friends and relatives out when they visit. Grand Aunt V visited sometime in June, so one Sunday after work I zoomed down Warrigal Road to pick her up from Balwyn. I must remember to take a different route next time; the traffic on Warrigal Road is a nightmare.
We made it to Snow Pony around 2.30pm, just in time before the kitchen was about to close. The café is run by the same people behind Porgie and Mr. Jones and is tucked away on a quiet nook of Whitehorse Road, very inconspicuous bar a giant white horse on the roof. While it lacks the bright pizzaz that the new sprouting cafes all seem to have, its dark walls provide a cozy intimate ambience.
I was tempted to order my favourite cheesy herb bread but decided against it. It was time to try something new. A quesadilla of lamb meatballs and tomato sugo sounded appealing and I do find it hard to go past meatballs. It was pretty good. There was a good amount of cheese and wilted spinach and the meatballs were little delicate spheres of tasty lamb. Grand Aunt V is a huge fan of the pastries in Melbourne and ordered a croissant. What better way to enjoy the buttery flaky pastry but to slather on even more butter?
Grand Aunt V couldn’t fault her cappuccino, which uses Allpress beans. I had the single origin piccolo latte, which was sourced from Papua New Guinea AX. It was slightly fruity and had a nice body to it.
Snow Pony may be a bit of a hike from home but it’s warm and inviting and will always come to mind if I find myself journeying out eastwards.
3 Cookson Street
+61 3 9882 8995
Not too far East is Collective Espresso, conveniently located near Camberwell train station. It was one of my last few “Tuesday brunches with Fakebooo” when we visited. There were a handful of cafes around this area that he had yet to patronize and I nominated Collective Espresso from his narrowed down list of 3.
Collective Espresso uses 5 Senses “Compton Road” coffee beans. I had a piccolo latte, which was dark and chocolatey. Fakebooo went with filtered coffee, and had the single origin Rwanda Kinunu. It came with a series of described tasting notes but I failed to pick up any of them. I can only describe it as “savoury oolong”.
As you probably know by now, Fakebooo and I always get up to nonsensical idiocy when we get together. While it mostly involves the consumption of food, it can also be related to food styling placements. We move cutlery, water glasses, paper articles and other objects around in order to get the best lighting, angle and capture. Since I do my snapping on my iPhone, I’m done pretty quickly and am not fussed about it. Fakebooo is quite particular with his DSLR so I do my loving fake girlfriend part of holding dishes, pouring liquids and waiting. And that’s what we did, perched on the little stools at the corner window of Collective Espresso, giggling like morons as we played merry-go-round with the table items.
Fakebooo’s big breakfast dish was aptly named. It had all the important elements of breakfast and was deliciously fulfilling. Fakebooo especially loved the wobbly eggs and thick-cut fatty bacon. My emu burger was from the lunch menu. The 2 of us almost whooped out a laudatory “Yay” when we were given the go-ahead to order from it. It was still 10.30 in the morning after all! The burger was amazing. The emu patty was well cooked and surprisingly lacked any gaminess, while the pickled cabbage and salty melted cheese balanced out each other. For the quality and deliciousness, the price of it was almost dumbfounding.
Collective Espresso is a great little place. The burger brings back memorable food moments and I can’t wait to return to have it again.